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Children's Health

Nails Are Not Growing

04/19/2010

Question:

hi:i have a 7 years old boy he seems to me healthy but my concerne is his finger nails ,they are not growing i remumber last time i cut them when he was 3 years i asked my dr he said it is ok and then i asked him after 2 years he said i have to look in the enternet ,so please can you help me with this mater .thank you

Answer:

Nails do grow very slowly, about 1/8th of an inch per month. Growth also varies by finger of the hand, season of the year, gender of the person, age, health, nutrition, exercise and heredity. Nails grow faster in the young who are healthy and eat a good diet rich in vitamins and minerals. They grow the fastest in summer and on the nails of our longest fingers.

With an active, healthy little boy, he may be breaking and peeling off his nails and thus they seem not to be growing, but in fact they are growing. Significant problems of the fingernails do not involve growth in length of the nail. Rather, they are shown in the development of discoloartions, the development of black or white pits or ridges that go horizontaly across the nail. Other more serious concerns are associated with nail loosening, shedding, and curvature.

If your son enjoys a healthful, varied diet, has the opportunity for at least one hour altogether of vigorous play in bouts throughout the day, and is healthy without the need for frequent doctor visits, you really don't need to worry over his nail length. Relax and enjoy your wonderful child's grow!

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Response by:

Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN Mary M Gottesman, PhD, RN, CPNP, FAAN
Professor of Clinical Nursing
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University